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Concerns over salmon fishing ban dismissed

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screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-16-38-10A SENIOR member of the Teifi Trout Association (TTA) has raised concerns over ‘restrictions’ that he fears may be put in place by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding salmon fishing in the River Teifi and throughout Wales.

Secretary of the TTA Gwyn Morris has said that NRW is looking to introduce a ban on salmon fishing and introduce restrictions on fishing methods such as bait fishing.

The TTA currently has around 200 members and owns a n approximate 20 mile stretch of water in the Teifi. The fishing strip has received considerable investment in its time, some of which has been sourced through grant funding.

In the late 1980s, Gwyn said that the TTA had initially purchased a strip (which spanned several miles), in part, by using funds that involved a £50k grant from Ceredigion Council. The area also received National Lottery funding for several disabled platforms which can be found along the river.

Gwyn said: “They [NRW] can’t tell us when this ban is coming in. They’re trying to fetch this legislation in, but they’ve got to go through Welsh Government. We’re opposing it being passed if we can.”

Gwyn also raised concerns about the TTA’s disabled members, most of whom rely on bait fishing, something Gwyn expects to be banned.

He said: “With our members now, most of them are getting older, you’ve got more disabled every year, and that’s what we have to try and hit them with now, they’re depriving the disabled.”

With reference to statistical evidence he had received at a meeting at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Gwyn also argued that there had been a 23% increase in salmon numbers in the Teifi.

Having spoken to Gwyn, the Herald contacted the NRW where we got through to Principal Communications Officer, Martyn Gough. While Martyn acknowledged that numbers of adult salmon may well have increased (he could not confirm this either way), he did point out that NRW was currently more concerned with salmon fry numbers which have been declining across the country.

Martyn said: “We’re still very much at the stage where we are investigating the reason for this decline in the numbers and we will take steps eventually, but what they are we don’t know at the moment.”

Martyn went on to dismiss claims of a potential ban, adding: “It’s a problem that we need to address but it is something that we’re still investigating and because of that, we haven’t made any decisions on restrictions or any sort of ban that may or may not take place; that’s a discussion for once we’ve collated all the evidence.

“As you can image, there’s an awful lot of rumours and gossip around the situation. At the moment, there is nothing of that nature in the pipeline.”

When discussing the cause of decreasing salmon fry numbers, Martyn was quick to dismiss over-fishing as a major cause, and instead pointed to something else. He said: “We think that it may be related to last years wet and warm winter, we don’t think this is a case of overfishing. The evidence, and again we’re still investigating this, but the evidence points to something to do with climate change. “

The only scheme that NRW currently promotes is a voluntary catch and release scheme.

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Man arrested for illegal fishing in Teifi valley

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A MAN has been arrested after environmental crime officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spotted an illegal net in a mid-Wales river.

The officers were conducting a routine patrol of the River Teifi on Thursday (May 14) when they came across a net in the water.

Following an investigation carried out in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fisheries offences in the Teifi valley.

At the scene, officers retrieved the net which contained seven dead sea trout.

David Lee, NRW’s North and Mid Wales Operations Team Leader, said:

“Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and Dyfed Powys Police we were able to prevent further damage to the Teifi sea trout population.

“We take any activity that threatens sea trout and salmon extremely seriously and this is especially true of illegal fishing.

“Nets can potentially capture large numbers of fish and given the current challenges facing stock numbers currently every sea trout or salmon taken represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Despite the current Coronavirus lockdown, NRW officers are continuing to patrol Welsh rivers and people are encouraged to check that fish they buy locally – particularly through social media – are from a legitimate source.

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Mother-daughter foot patrol brings 30 year career to a poignant end for Chief Inspector

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AS Chief Inspector Nicky Carter ended a 30 year career in policing, there was no better way to do it than going out on patrol with her daughter.

And for PCSO Charlotte, taking to the streets of Lampeter with her mum was a fitting way to mark her first six months at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Patrolling together in uniform was something the mother-daughter pair had long imagined, with PCSO Carter wanting to join the police from a young age.

The 19-year-old said: “I joined in September 2019, and have wanted to be a part of Dyfed-Powys Police since I can remember. I was inspired by my mum working in the force, and thought it would be a great career.

“I’m really glad I joined before she retired, as it gave us the opportunity to go out on foot patrol in the town where mum had been the local Inspector. It was really lovely.”

Embarking on a career she’d planned since childhood, PCSO Carter took the chance to gain valuable advice from her mum – whose experiences on the frontline inspired her to join.

“Mum has told me to always treat people as I would wish to be treated,” she said. “That’s something I’ll take forward with me.”

“I’m six months in now, and I enjoy dealing with the public and offering reassurance to people in the communities of Lampeter town and surrounding areas.”

For former CI Carter, the foot patrol drew a 30-year career – starting at North Wales Police – to a poignant close.

She ended her time at Dyfed-Powys Police in her home division of Ceredigion, transferring to Aberystwyth in 2006 to take up an inspector post.

Despite admitting there will be concerns for her only child as policing inevitably comes with risks, it was a career she encouraged.

She said: “I was very proud of Charlotte wishing to join Dyfed-Powys. As I retire I still consider that policing offers tremendous job satisfaction and I know that the organisation looks after and cares for its staff.

“I encouraged her to find out about the PCSO role before she applied, and also encouraged her to attend an open evening in Ceredigion to speak to staff. I wanted her to make an informed decision to join the organisation.

“As a parent and a former officer, it is natural to be concerned about what may occur when Charlotte is at work. However, the training, mentoring and support from staff and supervisors is second to none, so that offers me reassurance.”

Looking back at 30 years in policing, CI Carter has achieved plenty to inspire her daughter – and other women thinking of joining. From being a founding member of female networks in two forces, and a committee member of the British Association of Women in Policing, she has also proudly contributed to local and national work to ensure all staff reach their full potential.

She was humbled to receive a leadership award from Chwarae Teg in 2017, and represented chief officers at the International Association of Women Police awards in Alaska in 2019, where two Ceredigion officers were rewarded for their bravery.

When it comes to passing on her wealth of experience to her daughter, the former CI urged her to always consider her own wellbeing as well as that of the community.

“The most important advice I have given Charlotte is to look after herself and her wellbeing as whilst policing is a very rewarding role, it is one that can be both challenging and stressful at times,” she said.

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Ben Lake MP “disappointed” after Agriculture Bill amendment on the standard of food and agricultural imports is rejected by House of Commons

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The UK’s new Agriculture Bill was put before MPs on Wednesday (13 May) for the final time as it reached the Report Stage and Third Reading.

Alongside farming unions and campaign groups, Ben Lake MP has lobbied for the Bill to include a number of important amendments. One of the amendments sought to introduce a legal requirement that agricultural or food products imported into the UK under future trade agreements would need to be produced or processed according to equivalent animal health, welfare and environmental standards as those required of UK prodcuers.

This amendment, in the form of New Clause 2, and which was tabled by the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish MP, was rejected by the Commons. All Plaid Cymru MPs supported the amendment and Ben Lake MP said he was “disappointed” that the house did not vote in favour of an amendment to prevent the importation of products produced to lower animal health and environmental standards, and which in turn would have supported the high standards of Welsh produce.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Without this amendment there remains no legal requirement for future UK trade agreements to ensure that any agricultural or food imports are produced to the same standards as those required of domestic producers.

“Farmers in Wales strive to produce quality food in a sustainable manner, but the failure to include this amendment to the Agriculture Bill risks undermining these efforts by keeping the door open to imports produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

“I have always argued that in order to protect our own high standards it is crucial that a level playing-field is maintained in relation to imports, and that farmers in Wales are not put at a disadvantage by having to compete with imports that are produced to lower standards. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be adopted by the House of Lords, so that the House of Commons has another opportunity to support it.”

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